Shakyamuni Buddism



Shakyamuni Buddha

Shakyamuni Buddha is the historical Buddha who walked the paths of India approximately 2000 years ago. The various lineages of Buddha originated from Shakyamuni Buddha. ‘Shakya’ actually refers to the clan of his origin and ‘muni’ stands for sage. Therefore Shakyamuni Buddha is the ‘sage from the Shakya clan’. The right palm of Shakyamuni Buddha in the earth- touching mudra signifies the time during his final meditations prior to attaining enlightenment. He points towards the earth with his right hand and in response Bhu Devi, the Earth Goddess, lets flow a stream of sacred water at Buddha’s feet. Each drop of water symbolizes an act of merit performed by Buddha in his previous incarnations on earth.

The twelve deeds of Shakyamuni Buddha can be summed up as follows: descent from Tushita Pure Land; entry into his mother’s womb; birth in Lumbini; becoming skilled in the Arts and playing the sports of youth; taking charge of the kingdom and keeping a harem; becoming discouraged with cyclic existence and leaving the householder’s life; practicing meditation for six years; going to the Bodhi tree ; overcoming the hosts of demons; becoming fully enlightened; turning the wheel of the doctrine; passing from sorrow in the city of Kushinagar. The tenets of Buddhism taught by Shakyamuni Buddha weren’t written down for sometime.

The statues of Shakyamuni Buddha are a reminder of the spiritual potential inherent within all of us to awaken the Truth as he once did as a fellow human being.

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